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Dramatic drop in passengers at Keflavik

In April there were 27% fewer passengers passing through Keflavik airport in Reykjavik, with both Gothenburg and Bergen pulling ahead of it.

Reykjavik’s Keflavik International Airport has experienced significant growth in the number of passengers over the past five years. By 2018, the airport was close to passing the 10 million mark when the year ended with a growth of 12% and 9.8 million passengers.

However, after WOW air’s bankruptcy on March 27, a completely new market situation is emerging, since considerable capacity has been lost. This is reflected in the traffic figures from April, which were the first month without the Icelandic low-cost airline.

In April there were only 474,519 passengers through the airport, a decline of 27% compared to the same month the year before when there were 649,973.

As a result, Keflavik has fallen from its position as the fifth largest airport in the Nordic region down to seventh, as both Gothenburg Landvetter and Bergen had more passengers last month.

Year to date, however, the decline is only at 13.6%, since WOW air had managed to implement a somewhat reduced traffic program during the first 85 days of the year.

Icelandair capacity
The bankruptcy of WOW air meant that there was notable development in Icelandair’s traffic figures in April.

The number of passengers on its international flights increased by 19% to 318,000 based on an 8% capacity increase. This raised the load factor from 77.2% to 83.7% compared to the same month last year.

Local traffic has particularly developed with an increase of 44%, or about 39,000 passengers.

By contrast, the number of passengers to and from North America decreased by 13,000, which is about 9%.

However, due to the ongoing situation with the grounded Boeing MAX aircraft, Icelandair is not able to increase its capacity further. Instead, it has been necessary to wet lease aircraft. This means that capacity will probably remain unchanged until the MAXs are returned to service.

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